Hannah and Elizabeth – 1 Samuel 2

“This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.”  Zechariah 4:6 NKJV

The final two-thirds of the genealogy of Jesus Christ extends from King David to King Jesus.  These key members in the heavenly line were each heralded by a prophet, separated by hundreds of years.  David was anointed by the prophet Samuel, who was born of Hannah, and John the Baptist, born of Elizabeth, prepared the people for the arrival of Jesus Christ.  John also performed Jesus’ baptism, where the Trinity was present through 1) Jesus, 2) the voice of the Father and 3) the Holy Spirit descending like a dove.

The word from God about the Spirit being the builder of the church came to Zerubbabel, who came between the two in the genealogy.  Zerubbabel was building a temple in Jerusalem after the return of the Jewish exiles from Babylon, when God told him that the true temple will be built by the Spirit of God, not man.  Its arrival and growth will not depend upon any earthly power or status.  God’s new, worldwide temple would come after Jesus’ resurrection, when the Holy Spirit was given from above to reside in the hearts of all believers, covering all nations on the earth.

Both Samuel and John were of a miraculous origin.  The mothers of Samuel and John the Baptist were each unable to conceive children by natural means.  Both spent years in prayer before being blessed with an intercession by God, which allowed them to bear their child.

Hanna’s story was covered in a previous meditation, “The Deepest Prayers”.  John’s birth story can be found in Luke 1.

13 But the angel (Gabriel) said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John15 …He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” 

18 And Zacharias said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.” Luke 1:13, 15-18 NKJV

Like Samuel before him, God chose John to prepare the people for a King.  These kings were of humble human origins.  King David was anointed king while still a shepherd boy, almost an afterthought within his own family.  And Jesus, the focus of all the Old Testament prophets ending with John, was born in a sheep’s manger rather than in a palace or as part of man’s noble society. 

God often does not choose the wisest or the most impressive people to accomplish His will.  In fact, He will sometimes choose the opposite.  He does this so that, like the miraculous births of Samuel or John, there will be no doubt that the Spirit of God is providing all of the might and power to build His church, and that God, not man, deserves all of the glory.

Reflection

Looking back, where can you see the hand of God working “quiet miracles” in your life?

Oftentimes we miss just how often God has touched our lives with blessings.  Many find it valuable to spend some time with the Lord at the beginning of each day to get re-centered in Him.  We have a chance to read His word and to pray for others and about the coming day. 

Some find it useful to make a short “gratitude list” thanking God for actions that He has taken on our behalf throughout our lives.

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